A commercial for the Ford Mustang Mach-E turned into a "life-changing" experience for the deaf mother and son who starred in it, with the help of actress and singer Jennifer Hudson.
The ad, which first aired in February, shows Arlene Ngalle, 35, and her 16-year-old son, Darien Lopez, driving in a Mach-E equipped with BlueCruise. After Ngalle uses the driver-assist feature to put the electric crossover in hands-free mode, she takes her hands off the wheel, turns to Lopez and tells him, using sign language, "Finally, we get a chance to talk."
Hudson was moved by the ad and invited Ngalle and Lopez to appear on her daytime talk show. After interviewing them about the ad and the challenges they face being deaf, Hudson presented them with a BlueCruise-equipped 2024 Mach-E, priced at about $53,000.
"The experience of receiving an unexpected and generous gift can be incredibly emotional," Ngalle told the Detroit Free Press last week, when the show aired. "It's no exaggeration to say that this news was life-changing."
She said the vehicle helped her and Lopez communicate just as the ad depicted.
"We can chat away without worrying about safety or appearing like a reckless driver," Ngalle told the newspaper. "With our busy schedules, any chance I get to spend quality time with my teenager is precious, and the BlueCruise has given us more opportunities for that."